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£3m funding boost to support adults in mental health crisis across Hertfordshire and West Essex

23 Jan 20

People experiencing mental health crises will have better access to urgent and emergency health assessments and treatment closer to home, thanks to a successful bid from the Hertfordshire and West Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

This award of £3m over two years means that adult residents of Hertfordshire and west Essex will benefit from consistent and comprehensive mental health crisis services, including:

  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year access to urgent and emergency mental health assessments in our area’s three Accident and Emergency departments – at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and Watford General Hospital
  • Improved home treatment options including face to face assessments, intensive therapies and support
  • two new ‘crisis cafes’, run in partnership with the mental health charity ‘Mind’, to provide people experiencing a mental health crisis with a safe, relaxed and friendly environment to talk about their issues. The cafes will be staffed by people who have also experienced mental ill-health problems and can offer support
  • improved weekend social care crisis support (though Night Light in Hertfordshire), so that services will be offered 24/7 between Friday and Monday, when there are high levels of need

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan, the Hertfordshire and West Essex STP Clinical Lead for Mental Health said:

“As a mental health specialist, I am delighted that across our area we will soon be able to offer the same level of hospital or community-based services to adults experiencing mental health emergencies as we offer to those who have physical injuries or illnesses.

“We have been working for some time with patients, service users and carers to make sure that we design responsive mental health crisis services together. These vital funds will help us ensure that the 1.5 million people living in Hertfordshire and west Essex have access to 24/7 urgent and emergency mental health assessments and intensive home treatment by 2020. This kind of support can change the lives of people living with mental ill-health and their friends and families.”

Julie Nicholson, CEO, Herts Mind Network commented:

“Herts Mind Network is delighted to be delivery partners in this innovative programme to enhance mental health crisis services across Hertfordshire and West Essex. This new investment will ensure that local residents have access to seamless out of hours support during times of crisis”. 

“The new Crisis Café model will ensure that residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis will benefit from an out of hours drop-in facility every day of the week”

Ensuring that every adult and child who needs mental health help can access timely and convenient support is a key aim of the national NHS Long Term Plan – read more here: www.longtermplan.nhs.uk  

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